A recent request to show more photos of Copper Range motive power brings this builders photo of Copper Range #30. A C-2 American 2-8-0 delivered in November of 1907 and retired in April 1947. (Kevin Musser Collection)
Lovely photo. I'm leaning toward modelling the DSS&A and it's connections in the Houghton/Hancock area circa 1910 (the double deck swing bridge is a major plus). Was there a turntable length restriction that dictated the short tenders and close coupled pilot trucks on this engine and the DSS&A Pacific featured a few months ago? Thanks Kevin and all your helpers, this is a wonderful web site with everything from historical engineering structures to humor.
The Copper Range, like all of the Copper Country lines, didn't need much "range", that is, the trips were short and they were never too far from fuel and water. The C-2 class appears to be an American "catalog" loco. There were nearly identical American 2-8-0's working on the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Ry. built during the same years as the C-2's. COPR 100 and 101 were much larger with a longer wheelbase and evidently got along fine on the Houghton turntable, those two were intended for the Gay Branch. The DSS&A Pacific were what one might call ultra-light pacifics. At the time the were built there may have been turntable restrictions, but I doubt that was the case in the later years when they operated the ex-B&A mikes which were considerably bigger. An old rule of thumb is that the length of the haul has more to do with the size of the equipment than the weight of what is hauled. Can a crew make several round trips in a shift or does it take all day to make a one way trip. If the latter is the case, then you buy big stuff that can haul alot so you get the most work done.
I've always wondered why a railroad like the Copper Range, hauling heavy bulk cargo, bought locomotives with such obsolete features as late as 1907--inside fireboxes and valve gear, slide valves--especially with that steep hill at the west end of the Houghton yard. Well, Paul has just provided the answer. Most of the heavy stuff didn't go very far. And I doubt there was ever very much business at McKeever. "Catalog" locos whould certainly be cheaper. Speaking of the climb south out of Houghton, were helpers ever used during the steam era?